To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world

By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee


TOKYO (October 12) – Clarissa Chun (USA) won the gold medal in the 48kg category at the women’s wrestling world championships, defeating Zhuldyz Eshimova-Turtbayeva (KAZ) 1-0, 1-0 in the final at Yoyogi National Gymnasium. Chun, the only member of the U.S. squad at the Beijing Olympic Games to make the trip to Tokyo, scored from the defensive clinch position in the first period and spun around behind late in the second for her first world championship title.

It was the ninth gold medal in the women’s world championships overall for the United States and the first since Iris Smith won the world title at 72kg in 2005.

In the semifinals, Chun ducked behind local favorite Makiko Sakamoto (JPN) with only 15 seconds remaining in the third period to claim a 0-1, 3-0, 1-1 triumph on last point criteria.

Meanwhile, Eshimova-Tutbayeva used trips and body drops to stop Chinese newcomer Su Guibei (CHN), 3-0, 3-0.

In the bronze medal matches, Sakamoto moved from a double-leg takedown to a body press against Kaya Demet (TUR) and heard the referee slap the mat at 1:20 of the first period.

It was Sakamoto’s second bronze medal at the world meet after her bronze in 2005. Sakamoto also finished in fifth place in 2003.

Su, meanwhile, scored in the closing seconds of the first and second periods to edge two-time Olympian Enkhjarbal Tsogtbazar (MGL) 1-1, 2-1.

In the morning session, Sakamoto opened with a hard-fought win over Beijing Olympian Estera Dobre (ROU) 1-0, 2-0. Dobre finished 10th at the Beijing Games in August.

Eshimova-Turtbayeva, runner-up at 51kg in the Asia championships in March, edged Enkhjargal, also a two-time former Asia champion, in the quarterfinals 1-0, 3-0.